This summer we were kindly sponsored by Banrock Station through the National Trust's Vote for Nature campaign to carry out a more in-depth monitoring study of our puffins. As many of you may already know, Lundy is home to one of the most important seabird colonies in the Southwest of England and our breeding populations are currently recovering.
At the turn of the century, the island's breeding seabird colonies were under threat from large black and brown rat populations who were predating on the nesting seabirds, their eggs and their offspring. Puffin numbers were recorded as approx. 5 in 2003 and a rat eradication programme started. In 2006 the island was declared 'rat free' and since then we have seen a steady increase in the number of puffins with a formal count of 80 in 2013.
The study undertaken this summer involved a small monitoring team, in the form of Team Puffin, who spent many hours watching the main colony at Jenny's Cove, recording the use of burrows and, most importantly, any puffins taking fish into burrow as this indicates the presence of a chick within the nest. It also involved the positioning of a camera lower down the slope, focusing on a small area within the main colony. The time lapse videos were collated from images taken of the study plot and we now are asking for your assistance to determine how frequently burrows were used during the study time.
Help us spot the Lundy Puffins: please take a look at our Lundy Conservation Team Facebook page for the monitoring photo. From this photo please pick a burrow within one of the areas, watch the first video a few times and record how many times you see activity at the burrow (particularly when you see a puffin going in or coming out of the burrow). Then let us know all about it by either posting the details under the video or on our Facebook page - remembering to tell us which burrow it was that you were watching e.g. A1 or B1 etc. Watch as many as you would like - the more information we get the better! We'll be posting the burrow photos each weekend until all five films have been covered.
Please share this with all your friends and family - we would like everyone to have a go and if you count a different number to someone else, that's fine, that's why we need lots of people to take part to get a more accurate idea of how active these burrows were. Happy puffin spotting!!